Australian wave energy developer, Bombora Wave Power, has completed a feasibility study for a commercial scale wave farm, and is looking at Portugal to make the first commercial deployment.
The ARENA-backed LCOE study found that the cost of electricity from Bombora wave farms will be competitive with other renewables like offshore wind and solar by 2023.
Bombora engaged industry experts and local suppliers to ensure both technical viability and costing accuracy, including WorleyParsons, NGI, Trelleborg and WavEC.
The study included investigations into a range of wave energy converter configurations, construction materials, construction process and deployment and maintenance processes, according to Bombora.
Bombora’s LCOE study was based on a proposed 60 MW wave farm in Peniche, Portugal. The proposed site is 2.5 km long, approximately 700 m offshore, with 40 1.5 MW Bombora mWave converters deployed at a depth of 10 metres along the length of the site.
Bombora is preparing to deploy the first full-scale 1.5 MW mWave converter in the first stage of its commercial wave farm off Peniche in early 2017.
The deployment is expected to confirm the mWave’s performance, primarily power output, and storm survival while assessing environmental impact. The second stage of the project will involve a further three to five mWave’s being deployed at the same location, Bombora informed.
Bombora is now looking to raise Au$8 million from private investors to finance the building and deployment of the first unit, with an initial Au$1 million required to fund construction of the first ‘cell’ of the converter.
In a grid connected wave farm, each 1.5 MW mWave unit will cost Au$4.75 million to manufacture, deploy and commission, Bombora states.
Sam Leighton, Bombora’s CEO, said: “After nearly a decade of development, testing and refinement, Bombora’s breakthrough mWave technology will be on the world stage, competing with other renewables in the lucrative energy market within a year.”
Bombora’s wave energy system utilises a large membrane energy harvester to collect, concentrate and modulate the wave energy through the use of an air circuit.
The system has an onboard 1.5 MW air turbine that spins as wave passes over the system moving the air around the circuit and driving it through the turbine, which results in the generation of electricity.
To remind, in September 2015, Bombora deployed a scaled prototype of their wave energy device at Swan River, alongside Como Jetty, Western Australia, in order to test a number of system configurations to optimise the key design and control system features before launching commercial scale trials.